The Birds and the Bees

| As a result of increasing environmental stressors and urbanization, bee populations have declined significantly in recent years. Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory are investigating ways to support pollinator populations by hosting them on solar sites—a solution that also increases land use efficiency. Bees play a valuable role in agricultural ... READ MORE

Renewables Required

| Last week, California became the first state to require solar on new homes. After January 1, 2020, the California Energy Commission’s updated standards will require that newly constructed homes include PV systems. The new policy applies to both single-family and multifamily houses that are three stories or less and includes incentives for energy storage. According ... READ MORE

Solar Recycling

| Dubbed the “sunrush,” the growth in solar energy use over the past 25 years has been exponential. In addition to increasing global capacity from 100 MW to over 300 GW in that time, costs in 2017 were an impressive 86% lower than in 2009. One emerging concern, however, results from the fact that the life ... READ MORE

Solar Market Sweet Spot

| Community-scale solar appears to be finding its stride. Not only do these innovative photovoltaic systems enable multiple customers to participate in a single solar project and to receive compensation for their portion of the power produced, but they also offer a number of economic, grid, and environmental benefits. A new study published by the Rocky ... READ MORE

Trump’s Solar Tariffs

| The Trump administration’s decision last week to apply a 30% solar import tariff for crystalline-silicon solar cells and modules has been met with a broad spectrum of responses. While some expressed outrage, others felt that the decision could have been worse and may even present opportunities for industry expansion. The tariffs come in response to ... READ MORE

Technology That Talks

| Artificial Intelligence (AI) is used often in the solar industry for its predictive capacity—for weather forecasting and to support informed decision-making. AI’s algorithms are able to analyze massive quantities of data from satellites, weather stations, and sensors to determine patterns and foresee weather events that could impact energy generation. We recently reached out to Attila ... READ MORE

Biology Inspires Technology

| From fully degradable bioplastics derived from shrimp shells, to tiny RoboBees programmed for pollination, biologically inspired technologies use principles found in nature to create solutions. These advancements represent a remarkable fusion of life sciences and engineering. And solar panels may be the next technology to benefit from biological enhancement. While thin-film solar cells are considered ... READ MORE

The Industrial Dragon Takes on Green Energy

| China covered the equivalent of one soccer field every hour with solar panels in 2015. It also installed an average of more than one wind turbine every hour of every day, according to Greenpeace statistics. And it appears to be aiming for domination of one of the world’s fastest-growing industries. Chinese manufacturing changed the economics ... READ MORE

Equipped for Continuity

| It’s difficult to imagine a business to which backup power is more critical than Appica.com, a Cincinnati, OH-based provider of private data center space, hosted applications, cloud computing capacity, and network storage. Redundant security is a major element of how the firm defines itself, both in terms of clients’ data and equipment, and the power ... READ MORE

The Microgrid Market: Growth and Opportunity

| Microgrids are becoming the transformative technology in today’s energy industry, and are putting many utilities on the defensive. A few utilities want to adopt or coopt the technology, depending on one’s perceptions, creating tensions among utility and industry stakeholders. The latter believe microgrid resources can best be delivered by private companies. First, a definition: Microgrids ... READ MORE

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